Conventional content management systems (CMS) are built on a web-oriented model that uses the frontend and backend to serve content. However, this one-size-fits-all strategy does not work in today’s digital context. This problem is addressed by the headless CMS, which uses a decoupled strategy to manage content.
One such free software that’s based on a headless CMS is Strapi. It has gained immense popularity due to its reliability and seamless transitioning for content creators and managers. We have provided a comprehensive review of Strapi to help you determine whether it’s a good fit for you.
What Is Strapi?
Strapi allows developers to build applications faster by offering an out-of-the-box customizable API and allowing them to utilize their preferred tools. It allows content staff to collaborate all forms of material independently and deliver it from a single CMS to any platform, including websites, mobile applications, and devices.
Some Helpful Features of Strapi
Strapi brings together a whole industry of 150 000+ fans, 700+ contributors, and creative corporations like IBM, NASA, Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, and Toyota, and is appreciated by programmers. It is backed by an international society of members and partners. Some notable features of Strapi are listed below:
Many database tables, domains, applications, REST endpoints, and GraphQL types are automatically generated, which is incredibly useful. Previously, developers had to repeat the same few lines of code for each model and then delete them if they weren’t needed.
Strapi’s ability to almost remove repetitious tasks is admirable. All the fundamental steps in the platform have a default implementation, and if you wish to alter or deactivate them, you may do so easily.
Effective Content Management
If you’re going to use a disembodied content management system, you’ll want to be able to manage information, which Strapi excels at. You name the functionality, and you’ll get it: Role-based network access, a multimedia library, and a generally good UI. Strapi almost completely fulfills the need for a general-purpose CMS.
You can download the Roles & Permissions add-on if you choose Strapi. With a few exceptions, this plugin accomplishes precisely what you’d anticipate. This follows the same structure as the auto-generated code.
Sign up, log in, forget password, reset password, single sign-on, and other features appear to be required by every program. The Roles & Permissions plugin includes default versions of all these features and comes with role-based access control.
Strapi, like so many other content management solutions, provides a variety of options to send emails. You can use your server to send messages or external providers like Sendgrid.
The Media Library component is a powerful tool for managing many kinds of digital media in your application, including images and videos. This is not surprising for a CMS, and it may even be needed, but it is still a very handy tool when compared to creating your own express server.
Strapi administration or users can submit assets, and the CMS will manage to produce a few various-sized versions of this information in the case of photos. Like any other material in the Strapi system, these assets can be changed, deleted, and handled in general.
Strapi projects can be customized in different ways. To begin, you can use addons to override most plugin scripts. This allows you to modify or change any function without having it authorized, created, and incorporated into the main Strapi project.
You can develop your personal plugins and capabilities in addition to tweaking current ones. This enables you to not only extend the capabilities of Strapi but also reorganize some of your business rules. Finally, you can personalize the “admin” dashboard that any user will use to monitor and edit content. You can add new pages via plugins as well as modify existing ones.
Pros of Strapi
- The setup is simple.
- Simple database installation with a plethora of options such as Mongo, Postgres, and MySQL
- The backend software is easy to modify.
- With as little as 10 to 20 minutes, you can go from zero to a fully functional API with information.
- You may manage your resources and link your media library to a cloud server via the media library.
- Internationalization support in the plugin marketplace
- Custom roles and permissions are possible.
Cons of Strapi
- More time is spent laying a strong foundation.
- Defects should be tested in all circumstances.
- The training phase can be a little difficult, and there aren’t many tutorials available online to help you learn.
- Inadequate support for moving or distributing your data across several environments
- The administrator’s interface is not responsive.
How to Install Strapi
Strapi is easy to set up and use. You’ll need only a text editor and one of the current package managers, such as NPM or Yarn. So, on your port, type in one of the following commands:
yarn create strapi-app my-project –quickstart
npx create-strapi-app my-project –quickstart
These scripts will install Strapi as well as the beginning project app on your localhost, allowing you to browse to the admin area.
The most important thing to remember is that Strapi is open source, which means you can obtain many of the powerful features mentioned above for free on your server. However, if you wish to expand the features on a larger scale, you can do so. They have a few programs where you can access those features and get basic/advanced support.
Their programs are named the bronze, silver, and gold plans. Bronze is available at $29 per month per project, silver costs $299 per month per project, and for the gold plan, you must contact an agent to discuss pricing.
The bronze plan provides basic support and almost 30 plus custom roles. On the other hand, the silver plan has unlimited custom roles, technical facilities, and a customer success manager as well. The Gold plan has all the features of the silver plan and single sign-on, enterprise support with SLA, and a customer success manager.
Strapi is working hard to offer a cloud version in which they could accommodate the platform for you, which is fantastic because you will then be able to overlook server issues and focus solely on your product. You will have access to features such as unlimited usage.
Areas for Improvements
There are some areas where Strapi can significantly improve. Let’s have a look at some of these domains:
Type Script Support
Strapi’s absence of TypeScript support is nearly a compromise. TypeScript’s type security and self-documenting abilities are extremely useful.
Given the size of Strapi’s API, this is one of the most important areas where they can improve. The introduction of API typings and auto-generated controllers, models, and service typings would make using their system much easier.
Strapi makes use of two distinct programs to handle various databases: Bookshelf.js for SQL databases and Mongoose for MongoDB. They also include a wrapper for these two programs that allows you to do basic CRUD operations.
Strapi does not allow standard database migrations currently. Every modification to the content model happens behind the doors in the Strapi database. This means that if you need to perform some more “complex” database conversions, such as inserting indexes or extensions, you’ll have to do so either straight in your database or by developing your own migration method.
Strapi also doesn’t let you move data between contexts, which is especially inconvenient when it comes to permissions. The permissions plugin sets to no-access for any of your jobs when you establish a new entity. Then, for each entity manager, you provide access to each role using their UI, and this information is saved in the database. When you publish entity additions or updates to new surroundings, you must either explicitly apply rights to every single controller in the new surroundings or develop a unique data migration mechanism.
The Strapi ecosystem is generally performing well. On every query, the user-permissions plugin performs numerous database queries — one for the person’s role as well as several for the permissions that role possesses — which causes a few problems.
Developing a custom admin plugin can be time-consuming. There is a lot of necessary code available, but there isn’t a plethora of information. You’ll end yourself sifting through current plugins to find out which React components to utilize if you try to mimic the basic style of the rest of the Strapi admin page.
Strapi offers the simplest way to get started with headless CMS, and it’s even great as an API framework for powering whatever your needs are, including web, smartphone, desktop, or IoT. The Strapi crew is fantastic, and they work tirelessly to provide new features and fix bugs as quickly as possible.